MESA, Ariz. – A Guatemalan citizen wanted for murder in his native country was removed from the United States Friday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Walter Orozco Veliz, 30, has been charged with the murder of Eduardo Franco Campos in Gualán, Zacapa in September 2004. Authorities allege that Orozco and several other suspects arrived at Campos’ residence and initiated an argument that resulted in Orozco shooting Campos twice, killing him instantly.
“ICE will not allow aliens who commit crimes abroad to use the United States as a safe haven from justice in their home countries,” said Katrina S. Kane, field office director of ICE ERO in Phoenix. “ICE is working closely with law enforcement agencies here and abroad to ensure our international borders are not barriers to bringing criminals to justice. Our goal is not only to see criminal suspects held accountable for their actions, but to protect law-abiding citizens here and overseas.”
Orozco attempted entry into the United States using a valid Guatemalan passport on April 2 at the San Ysidro Port in San Diego, Calif. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers there identified him as a suspect in the homicide who was wanted by Guatemalan authorities. A search of Orozco also resulted in the seizure of two counterfeit immigration documents that he admitted to purchasing in order to work in the United States. Orozco was then turned over to ICE and held in detention in Florence, Ariz. pending his removal to Guatemala.
Upon arrival in Guatemala, agents with the ICE Office of International Affairs met the deportation flight to complete the transfer of custody to local law enforcement officials.
Between Oct. 1, 2010 and April 30, ERO returned to their countries of origin more than 215,900 aliens, including 109,700 aliens with criminal convictions. Of those, 585 were convicted of homicide, 3,177 were convicted sex offenders, and 24,593 were convicted of serious drug offenses.
Since April 2009, ICE ERO officers nationwide have coordinated the removal of more than 175 foreign nationals being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.